A day after being traded from Ottawa, restricted free-agent defenceman Andrej Meszaros has signed a six-year deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Meszaros was acquired from the Senators on Friday in exchange for defencemen Filip Kuba and Alexandre Picard, as well as a first-round draft pick in 2009 (previously acquired).
“The acquisition and signing of Andrej is a strong statement to our players and our fans that the Lightning ownership group is committed to putting the best product on the ice now and for years to come,” said executive vice-president of hockey operations Brian Lawton in a statement.
Ottawa and Meszaros were far apart in their negotiations to re-sign the 22-year-old blue-liner, and with the Lightning threatening to sign Meszaros to a multi-year offer sheet, reportedly worth around US$5 million per season, the Sens decided to work out a trade quickly.
Meszaros made $984,200 last season.
The deal is reportedly worth $28-$30 million over the 6 year contract and is back end loaded to help fit the contract under the NHL’s current salary cap maximum of $56.7 million.
A huge amount for a player with basically two full years under his belt who earned only $984,200 last season. I’m sure Mike Komisarek is licking his chops at the thought of getting a contract in the same neighbourhood as Meszaros…..good luck Bob, you’re going to have your hands full with no less than 8 UFAs next year.